As you can see from the very attractive people in the pictures above, early season training camps are happening all around. A camp worth your time should include 2 studs for coaches (Jon and I), detailed workouts, each precisely fitting in their place and most importantly, FUN. (Camp Location) Beyond the physical stresses, your mind must to be engaged too! This means paying attention to the nutrition presentation, swim demos, Training Peaks/power file analysis and running drill execution. There are always a few who really get balls deep in this process and it's likely those few who will have the most success. This isn't ONLY due to the fact that everything we say (as coaches) is worth it's weight in gold...kidding... but because a mind that is open to new methods can really tap into their abilities. As Jon would say, trust the process and achieve the results. The missing link between your racing goals may not be MORE volume or MORE intensity, you may just need to get smart. When I say get smart I don't mean you should take some college classes at the local Community College. You can spend 15 minutes a night reading some blogs from doctors, learn about Training Peaks, understand your thresholds or read about the food you're eating. Simple stuff can often have the biggest impact.
The inaugural Tribal Mulit-Sport triathlon camp was not meant to destroy, leaving corpses on the side of the road. I would put it more along the lines of a "wake up call". Overall, many hadn't put in any long rides or hard efforts on the bike or run...so naturally we explored those regions of the pain cave. One note worth mentioning; I witnessed some messy swimming while in the NTC pool. I'm not talking about the kind of mess that you could clean up with a single sheet of Bounty. I'm talking about the, drop your bowl of spaghetti squash pasta and red sauce all over your white couch type of mess. Basically, I highly recommend any swimmer have a friend or coach get some video of them. "Volume" in the pool doesn't always translate to speed (duh). Getting a good look at yourself on camera can highlight some major problems. Additionally, once the swim stroke is a slightly dialed in, it helps to have some defined "zones". You're "70.3 Race Pace" and your "All Out" should not be the same stroke rate. Your "Warm Up" and your "Tempo" should be different in the same regards. Knowing your "gears" and getting some eyes on your body as you move through the "gears" will give a better sense of what could be keeping you messy, fighting the water instead of making friends with it.
Recover with nutrient dense meals, perform at your best!
The real life, everyday missing link between you and your BEST possible self: Food Quality. Barely anyone I know in my normal job takes fitness seriously, much less their diet. Sadly, most athletes make succumb to many of the same failures I'm not going to go on a crazy rant but all I ask is that you try to analyze the quality of what you're eating. This is the main message I tried to send out to our humble camp participants. What better way to do so than to cook for 18 hungry athletes, demonstrating that IT CAN BE DONE?? Talk about putting me out of my comfort zone! I'm totally cool getting 3 or 4 people full of healthy food but 18 required some serious planning. Plus, everyone was typically starving and would devour double portions without batting an eye. The meals were simple, HIGH QUALITY versions of what people normally eat. It's crazy how simple it is to actually make this stuff. Chicken fried rice with roasted vegetable salad and homemade dressing? NO WAY!! Spaghetti squash pasta with avocado spinach sauce, turkey meatballs and a side of veggies?? BOOM! Very simple stuff here folks. Had I not been cooking for so many people, I could have whipped it up in 25 minutes or less. So on that note, look below for some quick/easy meals I use during the week to help keep the nutrient density high, maximizing recovery. (They may seem complicated but I promise they aren't)
So hopefully this season, you'll try some new approaches...become more efficient and make some new friends to share some paint with. I'll be traveling a lot this season so look for some healthy eating on the road. I'll prove to you that even without a fully stocked kitchen at your disposal, you don't have to eat a Dunkin Donuts or Steak n Shake. Please e-mail me if you need some more in depth descriptions of my recipes! Stay healthy and be safe on the roads!
Whoa! The feelings tailing a NEW YEAR are as thick and energizing as a Clif Turbo Double Espresso Shot Energy Gel. Personally, I can't think of a better way to kick this year in the butt so subjecting myself and others to a weekend of suffering sounds perfect. Tribal Multi-Sport will travel to Clermont Florida for some mountains (HA!) and fresh lake water that isn't frozen. This is the first year I've really enjoyed the warm weather. This is mostly due to my recent trip to Michigan, where the lows were near 17 below. I had to insulate my soul with layer upon layer and tons of blankets. Luckily, they have indoor training facilities to include awesome pools and 300m tracks.
Diet and the Holiday- Going home was like finally turning my internal competitive switch to "off" mode. I gladly indulged myself and woke up around 6am and ate lots of tasty snacks...but stuck with my very healthy vitamix breakfast and a salad for lunch. The 80/20 rule was pretty solid and very satisfying. Eighty percent of the day it was all whole foods and healthy meals, 20% was some smoked meats, dark chocolates...and CHIPS AND GUACAMOLE. Some people can't stop eating cake, others love ice cream...but I'll destroy a bag of chips and a tub of guacamole. Either way, once you've done it a few times...getting back to "race-weight" is easy. Gaining a few LB's in the off season is well worth it and can be healthy (within reason). It's easy to get a little too big in the off season too. If you look like an Amoeba, chill out on the crap food...eat kale!
So within 1 day of getting home, I had to get outside and run in my new treads ...Check it out! The pristine backdrop doesn't include snow or freezing people in jackets! Thanks to Scott Running coming home was like second Christmas, I'd never really given Scott Running Shoes a thought but now they're my "go to" trainer. I still rotate between 3 different pair of trainers to keep the ankles "guessing" but my feet finally feel strong. (fingers crossed)
Last year I started out with lower leg injuries but I've really been focusing on strength work during the off season. Moving forward, I've learned a TON about running form/technique and feel much more durable. Here's the simple game plan....run like Mirinda Carfrae and Crowie, with a mix of Tim Don.
Let's Freaking Race...but not just yet, maybe in a month or so..
The early season races will be here in the blink of an eye. Luckily for me, the big ones aren't until March. Between now and then I'll knock out some bike races and running races. Being a well-rounded, diverse athlete is the key to success and keeps things interesting. I always recommend triathletes take the plunge into a few bike races, it helps the "anti-crash" skills. On a side note...if you notice that no one ever wants to ride behind you, it's probably because you can't hold a line and look like you're about to take out a group ride at any moment. Riding in a group requires strict attention, deliberate movements and really helps develop a rider. Just stay toward the back for your first few rides and watch the angry roadies duke it out.